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Louisiana Dept. of Education gives parents choice to quarantine child if 'close contact' to COVID-19

WWL-TV New Orleans logo WWL-TV New Orleans 9/29/2021 Harry Howard

Tuesday, the Louisiana Department of Education announced their parent choice quarantine option for school systems. 

Under the parent choice option, mandatory quarantines for students deemed close contact to COVID-19 are no longer required.  

Instead, parents and guardians will be notified that their child has been exposed. Then they will decide on their own if they want to let their child remain in school or quarantine at home.

“We can no longer ignore the unintended academic consequences of our students unnecessarily missing school. This new, common-sense option empowers parents and local communities with the authority to make health-related decisions for their students,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley.

Close contact is defined as:

  • Being within 6 feet of an infected person for at 15 minutes.
  • Having direct contact with an infected person, including touching, hugging, kissing, or sharing eating or drinking utensils; or if an infected person sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on another person.

Each school system will decide if they want to use the parent choice option. LDOE said that the new process will not change how they handle students that test positive for COVID-19.

NOLA public schools said that they strongly disagree with the LDOE decision for optional quarantine because they believe that it will increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in schools.

“The Louisiana Department of Education’s decision flies in the face of the data, the science, and the sound advice of our health and medical advisors when it comes to protecting our students and educators amid the latest surge in this pandemic. We have proven that our approach is effective at keeping COVID-19 out of our schools, and we will stay the course and continue to listen to health experts,” NOLA-Public Schools and Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. said.

LDOE will also offer free COVID screenings for students.

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